BLACK KNIGHT #1
The Black Knight has always been a square peg for me. I loved the Roy Thomas/John Buscema era of Avengers, but that was despite the run’s anachronistic heroes that could too easily throw me out of the adventure. Hercules was a bad fit for that Avengers team, and I never liked him … until his recent relaunch. Black Knight is another character from that era, but his own reintroduction doesn’t measure up to Herc’s. It’s not that this is a bad book … it’s just that it doesn’t do enough engage me with a character that rightly or wrongly I’m not so interested in to begin with. Writer Frank Tieri spends the entire issue setting things up, but he never hooked me. Dane Whitman is the master of a medieval kingdom on Weirdworld; he fights monsters; he has quarrelsome advisors; he collects artifacts from other worlds; he is haunted by some bit of business involving his sword. But the character lacks meaningful internal conflict, the bad guys are a bunch of monster mooks whistled up from central casting, and while artist Luca Pizzari does a credible job of drawing a fantasy world, it still feels like a travelogue for a place I’ve no desire to visit (a damning thing to admit about a kingdom where fire-breathing rock trolls and lost World War II German U-Boats can coexist). It was all action, setting, and monsters for their own sake — I never understood the stakes.
Approachability For New Readers
Pretty good, at least compared to other books in this relaunch. A two-page prologue sets up our hero’s identity and pedigree (which stretches all the way back to King Arthur). If it fails to make much sense, that’s due more to the character concept than this particular story … and while the Weirdworld setting requires some Secret Wars knowledge to understand, the fantasy world trappings of the story are familiar enough that new readers can follow along and fill in the blanks.
Nah. Not onboard with this one.
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